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About me

I am a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Molecular epidemiology. My aim is to understand the cellular and molecular changes associated with ageing, in a population-based setting. I am interested in ageing associated changes that can be measured in adolescence and in midlife. In addition, I aim to understand how early life exposures, potentially also exposures encountered by the parents, are reflected in the ageing process.

My research is primarily focused on changes in the expression of genes and non-coding RNAs as well as DNA methylation. I also have experience on measures of biological age, including the epigenetic clock.

Research fields

Molecular biology



Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation Pirkanmaa Regional Fund, The Maud Kuistila Memorial Fund, Juho Vainio Foundation, The Paulo Foundation

Research career

I received my PhD from the University of Tampere in 2016, my PhD thesis was focused on ageing associated changes in gene expression and DNA methylation. In 2016-2017 I worked as a lecturer and a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Tampere. During 2018-2019 I visited the Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group in the University of Liverpool (UK) as a post-doctoral researcher. In Liverpool I focused on long non-coding RNAs and changes in their expression with ageing. I returned to Tampere University in 2019 and joined the research group of Clinical chemistry. Since fall of 2021, I have been a part of the group of Molecular epidemiology.

Selected publications

Marttila S, Viiri LE, Mishra PP, Kühnel B, Matias-Garcia PR, Lyytikäinen LP, Ceder T, Mononen N, Rathmann W, Winkelmann J, Peters A, Kähönen M, Hutri-Kähönen N, Juonala M, Aalto-Setälä K, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Waldenberger M, Raitoharju E. (2021) Methylation status of nc886 epiallele reflects periconceptional conditions and is associated with glucose metabolism through nc886 RNAs. Clin Epigenetics. 13(1):143.

Kananen L, Marttila S. (2021) Ageing-associated changes in DNA methylation in X and Y chromosomes. Epigenetics Chromatin. 14(1):33. 

Marttila S, Rovio S, Mishra PP, Seppälä I, Lyytikäinen L-P, Juonala M, Waldenberger M, Oksala N, Ala Korpela M, Harville E, Hutri Kähönen N, Kähönen M, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Raitoharju E. (2021) Adulthood blood levels of hsa-miR-29b-3p associate with preterm birth and adult metabolic and cognitive health. Sci Rep. 11(1):9203.

Marttila S, Chatsirisupachai K, Palmer D, de Magalhães JP. Ageing-associated changes in the expression of lncRNAs in human tissues reflect a transcriptional modulation in ageing pathways. Mech Ageing Dev. 2020 Jan;185:111177.

Kananen L, Marttila S. (2019) Vanhenemisen biologiset mekanismit ja miten niihin voi vaikuttaa. Duodecim 135(11):1098-106. 

Kananen L, Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Kummola L, Junttila I, Mononen N, Kähönen M, Raitakari OT, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Lehtimäki T, Hurme M, Jylhävä J. (2016) The trajectory of the blood DNA methylome ageing rate is largely set before adulthood: evidence from two longitudinal studies. Age (Dordr) 38(3):65.

Kananen L, Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Jylhävä J, Mononen N, Kähönen M, Raitakari OT, Lehtimäki T, Hurme M. (2016) Aging-associated DNA methylation changes in middle-aged individuals: the Young Finns study. BMC Genomics 17:103.

Marttila S, Kananen L, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M. (2015) Length of paternal lifespan is manifested in the DNA methylome of their nonagenarian progeny. Oncotarget. 6(31):30557-67.

Marttila S, Kananen L, Häyrynen S, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Nykter M, Hurme M. (2015) Ageing-associated changes in the human DNA methylome: genomic locations and effects on gene expression. BMC Genomics, 16:179.

Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Kananen L, Jylhävä J, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Ilonen J, Hurme M. (2015) Number of sons contributes to ageing-associated inflammation. Sci Rep, 5:8631.

Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Nykter M, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Tserel L, Peterson P, Hurme M. (2013) Transcriptional analysis reveals gender-specific changes in the aging of the human immune system. PLoS One 8:e66229.

Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Eklund C, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M. (2011) Aging-associated increase in indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity appears to be unrelated to the transcription of the IDO1 or IDO2 genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Immun Ageing 8:9.

Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Pesu M, Hämäläinen S, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M. (2011) IL-7 concentration is increased in nonagenarians but is not associated with markers of T cell immunosenescence. Exp Gerontol 46:1000-1002.